Let’s Talk About Octane…

And Other Things

Did you know that’regular’ gas is not the same in every state?

When I bought JR (my truck) back in 2012, I read the instruction manual!


It says right on page 397 (!) that for the “3.5 L V6 EcoBoost engine, regular unleaded gasoline with a pump octane rating of 87 is recommended.  Some stations offer fuels posted as ‘regular’ with an octane rating below 87, particularly if in high altitude areas.  Fuels with octane rating below 87 are not recommended.”

So I knew that, and have pumped mid grade gas in the past with an octane rating of 88 when I saw on the pump that what was labeled ‘regular’ was rated 86.

But recently, I goofed.  I needed gas badly.  I NEVER go below a quarter tank, except this time.  It was close to empty, we were in Durango, Colorado, and I filled my tank, not realizing I was using 86 octane Shell gasoline.  Yeah, I didn’t notice….until I was going up a hill…a long gradual incline….and it felt like I was going over bumps, but there were no bumps in the road.  And then the engine light started flashing yellow.  Oops.  The feeling of bumps….that was ‘knocking’.

On the down side of the hill the knocking stopped and the engine light went off, and things seemed ok.  It did happen again a few times, along with some backfiring!  Poor JR!  As soon as there was room in the tank for more gas I started adding premium with an octane rating of 91 or 90, depending where I bought it.  I’ve continued to do that and I think JR has forgiven me and her engine is ok, since we’ve been doing fine on hills the last few days.

I’m relating this story so you will be aware, in case you were not, or if you were aware you will be careful, as I was not.

Ok, change of subject.  Two days ago we arrive at the KOA in Tucumcari, NM and we get a nice site.


I have reserved one night but because of scary weather ahead on my route I ask to stay a second night and they are able to accommodate me.  The plan was to travel up into the panhandle of Oklahoma, but a cold front and a warm front are coming together close to my route and thunderstorms, large hail and maybe even a tornado is being forecast.

I enjoy the KOA which is one of the less developed ones…very laid back with lots of open space, and even some wildflowers.


Also there are bunnies everywhere.  Easter bunnies?  I don’t know, but Shiloh is highly entertained.

Me, who started out not liking KOA’s much, has stayed in them so often that they have sent me a VIP card, no charge.

We get quite a lightening show this evening….continual lighting of the sky in the distance, but not close enough to hear the thunder.  According to The Weather Channel, there was baseball sized hail and a ‘super cell’ that put out a number of tornados.  As it turns out they were not right on my route, but close…very close….and I’m glad I stayed put.


Very poor picture of lightening in the distance.

Today, Saturday, we proceed.  More bad weather is forecast for this evening, but it’s just a little farther east.  We make it safely to Guymon, Oklahoma, having passed through a tiny piece of Texas to get here.


It’s not often one can pass through Texas in a single day!


Plus spend some time in New Mexico and Oklahoma too!



Joy, Shiloh and I wish you a blessed holiday!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Let’s Talk About Octane…

  1. Gerri & Mike says:

    Those last two pictures are totally precious!! Is there any room for you in that bed?
    Thanks for the heads up on the octane issue. That is good information to know and remember. Glad you missed those storms.

    • Marie Arnold says:

      Happy Easter Micky, Shiloh and Joy! and J.R. also, ‘Glad that you avoided the weather and glad that you shared the octane story which I’d never heard before! (and ignorance is not bliss). Marie

    • Hi Gerri and Mike,
      I must say, sometimes there is precious little room for me in that bed! I have to tell you a story. This happened just yesterday….we got to our stop for the day and it was hot so we all went in and I turned on the AC. Both dogs wanted on the bed, and I was sitting in the chair but wanted to lie down. They were sprawled out and I didn’t want to ask them to move ( I am so polite, no?). So what did I do but lie down on the floor with a pillow. Joy could see me….but said nothing. Pretty soon Shiloh had to stand up to see where I went. He was surprised to see me on the floor cuz I’ve never done that before. When he went to lie down again he went to the far corner of the foot of the bed. Pretty soon Joy got up and went to the far corner of the head of the bed. They moved so I could get on the bed and I never said a word! So I got up, thanked them, and got on the bed!

    • Gerri my answer to you went under Marie’s post. This one might too….

  2. Diane says:

    Happy Easter! I enjoy your blog and read every post. I have a totally off-topic question. How do you keep your dogs from overheating in your truck during the summer when you need to leave them for any length of time? We’ll be traveling with our dog this year and we’re going to try to avoid the heat but it’s not always possible. Any suggestions?

    • This is a constant challenge Diane! For me, it’s all about the dogs, so I do whatever I have to do and it’s worked out so far. First, I try to stay out of extreme heat. Next if it’s hot, and I need to go shopping or whatever, I try to go very early in the day. I ALWAYS leave the windows in the back half to 3/4 open, and I try to park in shade. If I still feel it’s hot, I make it short, or…don’t go at all. Also there is always water for them in the truck. If I can’t find shade, I’ve gone in ( like if I’m at some site I want to see) and talked to people and asked if I can park in some spot that maybe isn’t really a parking space, but it’s shady, and they have let me. There have been places that I thought wouldn’t allow dogs, but I went in and asked anyway, explaining about the heat, and they let the dogs in. Sometimes I’ve parked a block away from where I was going because there was a bit of shade.
      If all else fails, I just don’t go.

  3. cc and canine (now back in Oregon) says:

    Hi Mickey! Love, love, love the last 2 photos of your babies…..Is that an ace bandage on Joy’s paw? I hope that they are both well….they certainly look comfy!

    You did the right thing staying put at the KOA and not driving closer to the storms. We used to live in Missouri, and the spring weather can turn deadly. We don’t have a smartphone, so we have inadvertantly been out in some nasty weather. In those cases we have found a campground, and hunkered down for the duration. It just happened during our recent 3 week trip to S. CA (Owl Canyon) and Lake Mead. On the way back, going up US95 in W. NV, we ran into a dust storm/ then rain/ then sleet/ and finally snow. Rather than fight a strong headwind, we found a nice campground in Hawthorne to ride out the storm. Weather radio said gust of 65 to 100mph! Our “new” 17′ Bigfoot did great! The egg shape handled the wind well! It really helps to not feel driven by any kind of a schedule.

    Our previous rig, the Rialta, would run on unleaded, but we always ran premium exclusively when we were in the mountains…otherwise we would get that annoying pinging and loss of power. You did the right thing by upping the octane.

    Well, my break is over now…got to get back to cooking the easter dinner…Had a great time last night dyeing eggs with the 4 yr old grand girl.

    Happy Easter!

    • Wow Sharon, I’m so glad you found that campground in Hawthorne! Weather seems more unpredictable than ever and it can get really crazy. I’m in Kansas now. Yikes.
      So glad you are enjoying your Bigfoot!

      • Forgot to mention, that bandage was on Shilohs foot. He was limping big time that morning and it seemed to help for the day. Since then he’s been fine!

        • cc and canine (now back in Oregon) says:

          Oops! I guess I got them mixed up! I’m glad that he’s feeling better…..Also, I got a big kick out of your story in the comments above about laying down on the floor, and how your considerate pooches moved so you could join the up on the bed!

          • Hey Sharon, ‘I’ get them mixed up! 😂 That’s why I keep different color collars on them…sometimes it helps!

            Yeah I was amazed about how they moved over…I wondered if it was a coincidence, but somehow I think not. I think it was on purpose.

  4. Thanks for sharing about the octane…I never thought of that, but I’ll be more observant from now on. Glad you missed the bad weather. And loved the story of the kids taking over the bed temporarily! What sweethearts they are.

    • Hi Pat, oh good, I’m glad the Octane story helped someone! I’m glad it helped YOU.
      I’m still anxious about it and only putting premium in my tank.

      Those furry ones are just the sweetest. They got to go swimming today, so hopefully I’m keeping they happy and entertained. 😀

  5. lyricalaska says:

    No matter what, your blog is sooo good! You will never be cold in bed when you sleep with those two sweet furkids beside you! We’ll keep the octane information in mind. Hope your holiday was good and you feel well and all that. Hugs and love, Carmen and Gip

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s